There's no hiding, behind moulding / hardwood.
October 24, 2010 1:49 PM   Subscribe

What might the original moulding around our 20s-era fireplace have looked like?

We recently tore up the carpet in our 1925-era San Francisco home to reveal some lovely old hardwood. Everything looks great, except there was clearly some sort of moulding around our fireplace, where the wood wasn't stained and is in worse condition than the rest of the flooring. The outline of that moulding is clearly visible, and was pretty obviously torn out to allow for carpeting right up to the tile.

We're trying to bring our home to the way it might have looked at any given point before the 60s (when it was half-assedly modernized), and have had trouble finding moulding to cover that area that would fit in with the way it was tiled. The moulding would have been pretty substantial: it's around 2" from the tile in all directions.

Any pointers appreciated.
posted by eschatfische to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm assuming it was some sort of curved bathroom-style tile based on similar ones I've seen in the Boston area. Here are a few photos of not quite the same thing: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 with #5 looking the most like your photo [though with wood, not tile, so I may be off base]
posted by jessamyn at 2:09 PM on October 24, 2010

I am not sure what the style of a 1925-era San Francisco home would look like but I can tell you that we have the same footprint on our original, restored 1920s fireplace. It's an extremely simple fireplace, what I would call an integral fireplace (but apprently Google images does not). Its called this because it's iron and the hearth is part of the one unified unit. It has no surround.

I'd be happy to take a photo for you but you're going to get a better photo in daylight. Let me know if this would be useful.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:22 PM on October 24, 2010

We have a 1924 house with a fireplace similar to yours, and around the hearth bricks that extend out into the room (ie, where you have tile, we have brick), we have the same 2" discoloration of the wood floor. I had actually assumed that it was from tack strips from wall-to-wall carpet. In other words I have been assuming that the original owners had wall to wall carpets in the living room, so there wasn't a molding there to begin with. I will be watching this thread with interest to see if this theory is wrong.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:47 PM on October 24, 2010

Best answer: There are some interesting tiled things on this page.
posted by cabingirl at 5:30 PM on October 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Does the unfinished strip of flooring along the edge continue down the length of the wall? Or does it stop? Where does it stop? Is that strip around the edge of the flooring TRULY unfinished? (NO stain? NO traces of varnish?) Or has the finish worn with age in that spot?
posted by jeanmari at 7:08 PM on October 24, 2010

Response by poster: There's only around 3" of the unfinished area on the right side that the photo doesn't show -- you can see the vast bulk of it. It just goes around the corner of the fireplace and terminates when it reaches the wall. It's pretty clearly limited to the fireplace, and doesn't continue down the walls.

That section appears to be truly unfinished. No stain, no varnish. Around the area is a small ridge of varnish, as though there were something installed around the tile on top of the wood that they stained and varnished up to.

I feel confident that this area isn't unfinished due to tacking strips from other carpet; we brought up the wall-to-wall carpet that was here when we moved in and removed and refinished around the old tacking ourselves -- there were nails and plenty of other detritus from even earlier (and very, very old) tacking that we removed. It was pretty clear how both the more recent and earlier carpets were tacked, and that wasn't anything like what's around the fireplace.

The fenders on the page that cabingirl linked to are very compelling; the outside edges are very slightly rounded in the same way that those tile fenders are.
posted by eschatfische at 7:37 PM on October 24, 2010

Maybe the original tile was larger and covered that part of the floor?
posted by fshgrl at 8:39 PM on October 24, 2010

FWIW our original and intact fireplace essentially has the Victorian Kerbed Hearth from the page cabingirl linked to. Ours is iron instead of tile but yes, it's exactly that idea, exactly that shape, and the same curve like yours.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:45 PM on October 24, 2010

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